You’ve signed up for your first American Express Membership Rewards card, you can’t wait to earn your free vacation, and you might be wondering if there’s a way to earn American Express points a little faster?
In fact, there are many tricks you can try to earn extra Membership Rewards points. Here are some of the fastest ways to earn Amex points.
1. Apply for American Express cards to receive welcome bonuses.
Claiming welcome bonuses is one of the best ways to get a big influx of Membership Rewards points. For example, you can earn 100,000 points with an American Express Platinum Card® if you apply for and meet the $6,000 spending requirement within the first six months.
It is important to note that American Express is very strict about welcome bonuses – you can only receive a welcome bonus on each card once in a lifetime. So, if you want to maximize your points, keep a close eye on the per-card bonuses and try to apply for the Amex card when they reach their peak.
Luckily, there are many American Express credit cards that offer welcome bonuses:
American Express Welcome Bonuses
|Card||welcome bonus||Estimated cost|
|American Express Everyday Preferred Card*||15,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months (conditions apply)||$179|
|American Express® Green Card*||30,000 points if you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months (conditions apply)||$357|
|American Express® Gold Card||60,000 points if you spend $4,000 within the first 6 months (conditions apply)||$714|
|Platinum Card® by American Express||100,000 points if you spend $6,000 within the first 6 months (conditions apply)||$1190|
|Business Platinum Card® from American Express||120,000 points if you spend $15,000 in the first 3 months (conditions apply)||$1428|
|American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab*||100,000 points if you spend $6,000 within the first 6 months||$1190|
2. Get a bigger welcome bonus through a targeted offer
American Express loves to use targeted offers with bigger signup bonuses to attract customers, so it’s not always the first offer you see to take. With some research and patience, it is often possible to score between 50 and 100 percent more points compared to the advertised welcome bonus. You should check the American Express website frequently (frequent visitors are more likely to initiate an offer), keep an eye on your mail, or even call American Express directly to see if you qualify for any offers.
You should also check out our CardMatch tool. American Express is offering 150,000 bonus points (after they spend $6,000 within the first six months) to certain customers who sign up for a Platinum card through CardMatch. However, this targeted offer is not available to all CardMatch users.
4. Get referral bonus
You can earn 5,000 points or more by referring friends to an American Express card. While there is a limit on the number of points you can earn on each card, the limits are high – you can earn between 70,000 and 200,000 points per card (or more) per year. You will need to log into your card account to see which offers you are eligible for and whether you are eligible to recommend others. Keep in mind that referral bonuses are only for the main cardholder and not for authorized users.
4. Use Amex Offers
Unlike many competing credit card reward programs, American Express does not have a merchant portal. Instead, it has Amex Deals, a list of special offers, including the ability to earn extra points when you use your card to make a purchase from a participating merchant.
Like the Amex referral bonus site, Amex offers are targeted to each account holder, which means you must log in regularly to see which offers you are currently eligible for.
From time to time, American Express offers limited-time promotions that allow you to earn additional points or redeem points at a discount. The limited time offers on the market are constantly changing, so be sure to keep an eye on them.
6. Juggling membership cards
You can seriously boost your earnings by signing up for multiple Membership Rewards cards and making the most of the cards in the respective bonus tiers to earn the most points. If you’re feeling daring, you might even try Amex trifecta. Earning a large number of Membership Rewards points will also help you redeem your American Express points for maximum value.
The average cardholder only earns an average of 1.24 points per dollar when using an American Express Platinum card on its own. As you can see from the chart below, the average number of points earned in a year is 19,716 points.
Scenario 1: Use one card per purchase ($15,900 annual cost)
|Platinum Card||Average remuneration rate||Evaluation points/year|
||1.24 pips per dollar||19,716 points|
However, when the same cardholder combines an American Express Platinum card with an Everyday Preferred card, they earn 3x the points at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1x) and 2x the points for gas stations in the US, as well as at The Blue. The American Express Business® Plus Credit Card allows you to earn 2x the points on every purchase (up to $50,000 per year, then 1X points), more than doubling the total cardholder reward rate.
The combination of all these cards earns the average cardholder an additional 18,603 points for a total of 38,319 points per year. With American Express, you only have one Membership Rewards account, no matter how many different credit cards you have. This makes it easy to combine points earned from different cards into one account and transfer points to Amex partner hotels and airlines.
Scenario 2: Combining Membership Rewards cards ($15,900/year)
|Platinum Card + Everyday Preferred Card + Business Plus Card||Average remuneration rate||Evaluation points/year|
||2.41 pips per dollar||38,319 points|
7. Buy Gift Cards
Not every retailer offers merchant gift cards or allows you to purchase gift cards with a credit card, but many reward card holders successfully use credit cards to purchase gift cards and earn Membership Rewards points in categories not covered by their cards.
For example, you can use your Everyday Preferred Card to buy an Amazon Gift Card at a supermarket. When you redeem your Amazon gift card, you will essentially earn 3x the points for your Amazon purchase (in a roundabout way). As an added benefit, this is a good way to make the most of this bonus tier on this card if you can’t manage to max out the $6,000 amount on groceries.
We’ve covered most of the main scoring opportunities here, but there are many more opportunities to maximize rewards. Many rewards enthusiasts have their own tips and tricks for accumulating Membership Rewards points, and knowing their value in relation to each redemption option will also help you choose the best one for you.
*All information about the American Express Everyday Preferred, American Express Green Card and American Express Platinum Card for Schwab has been independently collected by CreditCards.com. The Issuer has not provided the content and is not responsible for its accuracy.